Yes, it's that time again, time to dig out your shovels, hoes, gardening gloves and sprinklers. It's spring planting time. Walk into any home improvement store, drive down almost any street and you will see flowers, flowers and more flowers. Of course, for some reason, about 24 hours after you plant those flowers they don't seem quite as beautiful as they do when you buy them.
A fair share of maintenance goes into caring for a flower garden. You have to not only prepare the ground for planting but try and pick the right flowers for your area, weed the area after planting, prune your flowering plants and make sure they have plenty of food and water. Investing in plants is not always cheap and they do deserve the time and effort you must put in to care for them; and most of the time, that effort is rewarded with beautiful blooms.
Durant is located in Zone 7, which helps define what type of plants flourish in this zone. A few good ideas for choosing the right plants can be found in books and on the Internet. Violas and pansies will bloom for weeks, however, make sure you deadhead the plants so that they will continue to set new buds. Deadheading is done simply by pulling off the dead flowers. Several of the new varieties can even handle a slight freeze.
Snapdragons are not only beautiful but they are able to handle the heat, although they do require some protection to thrive in Zone 7. Snapdragons come in a variety of colors and heights and make a beautiful background border for a flower bed.
Geraniums are a beautiful addition to any garden and work very well in containers. They can be obtained in flower in late spring and will most likely last until frost. They can become quite large, with huge flowers; others are smaller. They also come in a variety of bright spring colors and can stay in bloom with a little deadheading, a little plant food and plenty of sunshine.
Marigolds are one of the most popular bedding plants in the United States. They are easy to grow, bloom reliably all summer, have few insect and disease problems and love the heat. The marigold's only shortcoming, for some people, is its unusual aroma. Marigolds are very compact and make a great border for any flower bed.
What ever your flower of choice or style of gardening is, now is the perfect time to get out in your yard, enjoy the sunshine and get planting. Then, sit back and enjoy your labor of love with a nice cooked-out meal or a simple glass of ice tea.
sources: http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/1996/3-15-1996/mari.html http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1217.html http://www.gardening.about.com